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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  January 16, 2010 10:00am-2:00pm EST

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>> a look now at the role palestinians are playing in the middle east peace process. according to the brookings institution, nearly three quarters of the population in the gaza strip is urn the age of 29. this portion is 45 minutes.
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>> it's wonderful for you to turn out this afternoon for a conversation that could hardly be more timely and could hardly be better served for purposes of a good and informative and forward looking discussion than by the gentleman to my right, who is a personal friend, an institutional friend, a trustee of this institution, and has some other credentials that make him just the right person to get us started on the topic of how to secure the future for palestinian youth. jim and i are going to engage in a bit of a dialogue for a
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few minutes up here at the beginning, and then we'll turn it into a multilog involving as many of you as possible. and in about 40 minutes or so, we'll turn the program over to an excellent panel that's assembled here. and we thank our friends and colleagues from the new america foundation, which has been helping us put this event together and some subsequent ones still to come. i won't introduce the panel now. i would, however, like to say to congressman eelsen what a pleasure it is to see him back here at brookings. he has been a frequent visitor here, and we're the better for it. we look forward to listening to you this afternoon. i don't think i need to go on at too much length about jim's background. >> good. >> we'll just stop right there. he's come to talk to us about fencing this afternoon, a sport from his youth which he's taken
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up once again in middle age. >> early middle age. >> right. >> but in addition to being an athlete and an owe limpion, he has also been of course a global public servant. he was that in his capacity as the president of the world bank and then in 2005-2006, he was the special envoy for the quartet working on the middle east in general and the issues and challenges of gaza in particular. subsequent to that, as a brookings trustee, he has enabled us here to establish
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the center is conducting in partnership with the dubai school of government. what i thought i might do to get the conversation started is to ask jim to reminisce a little bit with the wisdom of hindsight and i remember being with him in jerusalem in 2006 and he had the wisdom of foresight as well. that was a rather critical moment in his work on gaza and he was very, very concerned about the connection between the economic restrictions on gaza and what were likely to be the political developments both in gaza among the palestinians between the palestinians and the israelis. so jim may be recalling that time we spent together in jerusalem, you could look back a little bit and see what you think the principle lessons
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are, especially as that eye pli to the situation today, a year after the worst of the military activity. but there have been, of course, troubles just in the headlines in the last couple days as well. >> thank you very much. to take you back to those days and to allow me to reminisce just a trifle. the situation was, as you recall recall, that there was great tension between israel, the west bank territories and gaza. and one of the activities in which the quartet was involved, the quartet being the united states, russia, the u.n., and the european union, was to try and see if we could help in any way to unlock this difficult situation. it was really no thanks to my efforts or indeed the quartets that they decided the first
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step in what he wanted to do was to withdraw from gaza. and that was a momentous decision. and at the time perceived to be full of hope. it was a time when, as you recall, the million plus people in gaza were negotiated with in terms of the withdrawal and the 7,000 or so israelis that were there largely involved in hot house production were given the opportunity or rather were encouraged to leave, including leaving the hot houses. but the bottom line of it was that essentially there was to be this withdrawal and the israelis were to leave and one way or another we raised a bit of money to pay the owners of
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the hot houses to leave them there and there was for a time production by the palestinians in those houses. the hope was that that wulled -- would be an industry that would allow for an income in the area and for some material benefits to the palestinian population. and, that we could move forward thereafter. and with the arrival some months later of hillary clinton, you may remember, there was -- not hillary clinton. the secretary of state came over and -- i see the former council general is here so he will remember this. there was an understanding reach between the israelis and the palestinians in relation to a forward looking economic viability for gaza. which included a port, which
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included an airport, which included access and egress from the country and movement between gaza and the west bank, bus service, and all the things that we had hoped for. in the event at that moment of agreement in which the secretary made the announcement and then moved on, the tragedy of the situation was that none of it lasted for very long. and the situation collapsed with violence on both sides, and essentially the creation of what now exists in worse form the closing off of gaza and the isolation of the residents.
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it's now at a peak, as you know, with very high unemployment and with little or no activity, with access and egress for goods, basically through tunnels, it is a very unhealthy situation. and, worse than that, within the context of the million-four or so people that are in gaza and the palestinians that are in the west coast, there is now a division, i think you know, between hamas and sad ha so that there is a dichotomy of the people. so we now have a situation, instead of the dream that we'd hoped for and with some of us i think hoping that gaza would be the first step to normalization on the west bank led by sharon, as you know, sharon went into a comba where he is still, and the situation has eroded to the
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current situation. that's a very brief history of what happened for those of you that are not familiar with it. so now we're faced with a situation where the dream of a united palestine with talk of nationhood has receded into the background. although, in june, the prime minister made an announcement that was certainly a surprise to me that he would accept a two-state solution of palestinians and israelis subject to a couple conditions. one was that there would be limited military capacity on the part of the palestinians, and that the issue of immigration would be taken aust table in terms of the right of return to israel of
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palestinians, and there was a third element which was to be the unity of jerusalem in which at least there was an opening for discussion in terms of the holy places and in terms of potentially of some sort of division, that the two key positions are the ones that he talks. so we're now in a situation where, very sadly, we have from that dream a situation which is unfortunate with a division between the palestinian people, with anxiety about gaza between israel and the palestinians. you were telling me before about violence in the last days which i missed, and we are now where we are with sort of an
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offer or a willingness on the part of the prime minister to negotiate and difficulty with who to negotiate with and what are the terms and conditions on which it can be commenced. abuemazzen taking a predictable position in relation to settlement and in relation to further encroachments as he sees it by the israelis in palestinian territories and with really a standoff. all within the context of a much broader middle east set of issues than we had a few years ago. with iran being of course measured with a suni-shia split which is not trivial and which has very serious political implications. and it's taken a minute to tell you this maybe longer than i
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should. but as those of you who know the area know, it's not uncomplicated. and i tried to do it as quickly as i could. >> you mentioned having worked closely well with the previous administration, the bush administration. that administration got some criticism when it first came into office and later for not engaging with the israeli palestinian conflict. certainly, that's something that the obama administration cannot be accused of. but it has gotten some criticism for having engaged at the get-go but not having been able to develop much traction. what's your own assessment of how the obama administration has handled the situation in its first year? >> well, i think that the official statements were timely, accurate, and correct. it was to say this is one of the key issues that we need to
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resolve, that we're going to get into it and we're gining to deal with it. and they appointed an admiral admirable person in mitchell and continued to give him appropriate backing. my own judgment is that events, broader events have pushed that more into the background than perhaps they would have hoped originally. we have had an extension of the problems which the president inherited starting in before but certainly made visible in september of the year before with the leemen brothers crisis which was the visible symbol of the most recent and serious economic downturn. which has prevailed during the course of last year with negative growth in our country for the first time in 60 years.
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and combined with that, the involvement of american forces in afghanistan, the combination of their activities overseas in terms of immense expenditures and the cumulating budget deficit, a 10% plus primary unemployment and probably a combined unemployment of 16, 17% at a minimum, and when you are president of the united states and you're looking at the range of problems, i think you would have to say that those problems certainly on the face of it are more significant than 11 million people combined with the israelis and the palestinians in a sea of 350 million arabs. not withstanding the importance to all of us about that particular issue, not with standing the fact that when you talk to israelis and palestinian friends they perceive this as being the center of the universe.
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it is not the center of the universe. and events around it have really made this particular issue which is becoming more and more a specialist issue, in my book, it's just not getting, strobe, i think the attention. now, recently the secretary of state has announced that they're going to come together. i saw the ambassador to the u.n. two days ago where she made some comments at a gathering that i was at where she said they're quite serious about moving forward to try to resolve this, highly consistent with the statement made by secretary clinton. but i think george mitchell at the moment is having some difficulty in formulating the way forward. and we're all waiting for that magic set of statements which will include support by syria,
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arab countries and all the thing that is we all hope for but which have not yet appeared. so with the tension and violence in relation to gaza, with the economic drama in gaza, with the splint -- split between gaza and the west bank, not witsdz standing a substantial easing which i have seen with my own eyes in the west bank in terms of movement and activity, i think you would have to say that the future is uncertain though i'm thrilled that the statements are being made that this will again be given high priority. >> jim, since the world youth figures both prominently in the name of the initiative that your center is doing with the dubai school of government and also in the topic of our discussion this afternoon, would you -- and then after this we'll open it up to you.
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would you expand on what your motivation was for wanting to concentrate on youth as you have done both as when you were working as special envoy and then subsequently. and if i could append to that a question that is puzzling, dizztoibing, and timely. and that is the issue of terrorism and in particular suicide bombing. this is a phenomenon of our time on which youth has no monopoly, palestinians have no monopoly, arabs have no monopoly. it's a global problem. but it's young arab suicide bombers are a big part of that phenomenon. and how do you relate that to the nexus of politics and economics that you've been concentrating on in gaza? >> i think that's a great question and it's at the core of stability, i think, in the
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middle east and in many other places. i think in coming years also in africa where we will have a population by 2050 of 2 billion people with half of them or more young. >> and the most famous recent would-be suicide bomber was from africa. >> that's exactly what i was about to say. we're talking about a global issue. we're not just talking about an arab issue or the issue of frustration of youth works lots of places. and the situation in the middle east is -- which we're addressing at the center here, is that there are roughly 350 million arabs in the region, of whom 100 million give or take between the ages of 15 and 25. and whom, maybe 130, 140 million are under the age of 15.
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so you have more than 65% under the age of 25. now, in the cohort 15 to 25, which are looking for work, my colleagues afterwards will no doubt give better numbers than i have, but if you say that there are four or five million of these young people who need jobs every year, the generation of jobs which is not to -- too great anyway when you take out government service, or even if you include it, still leaves somewhere between two, 2.5 million of these young people unable to find work. and so you have a continuous addition to the core of unemployed, delays in the ability of young people to get married, delays in their ability to earn a livelihood which would permit that, and not surprisingly acute
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frustration given the mores and customs of the region. and it is to us in the work that we are doing here and which have been joined now in dubai and in cator, where we have centers of research and look at 11 countries, this issue is not just an issue for specialists. this is an issue h which is at the very core of economic and social stability. as you can imagine in our country here, if we had 30, 40% of our young people unable to get work every year and it was increasing, we would have a hell of a problem. that's exactly what we're finding in the middle east. so that the question of jobs, which is the first part of what strobe said, is really crucial in terms of economic development. and as i think many of you know, the society -- societies
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generally in the middle east, are not orderly in the sense of giving everybody an opportunity to move up the chain. there is in many of the countries a select group which is more fortunate than the group below. it's quite clear. and so we have these societies which to start with are vulnerable in terms of young people who are looking for more democratic environment. and then, without jobs, you quickly get to the point, which is the second part of strobe's question, that for young people who are frustrated, there are opportunities to either stick with it and keep going, or there is an immediate sense of violent reaction. and if the violent reaction is one that can be focused and it
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can be put within a context of religious belief that violent action which leads to death is not the worst thing in the world that can happen to you because of what will happen in the afterlife, even if you get a few people that believe that, you have a very dangerous structure. and what we've seen, lately, is that the combination of frustration, anger, lack of opportunity, and a sense that life now is less good than maybe life here after, you have a combination which is pretty dangerous. and i'm afraid that's what we now have in the middle east with the frustrated youth and in some countries with
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inadequate leadership in terms of bringing the resources of those countries together, as i know in my period of the world bank, this is something that needs to be worked through whether or not there is an israel issue it is a serious issue anyway. and as i said, the split within the arab community, the suni-shia split has within it, i think, also seeds of some difficulty. so i hope very much that my successes and all the people that are training at brookings will come up with much better ideas than my generation had and that this thing can be resolved, and that there will be an arab leadership that is far-seeing and that can bring about a greater balance. >> thank you, jim. we have about 10 minutes or so for some questions. if you have a question, there's a gentleman right over there, please identify yourself and
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wait for the microphone. >> thank you very much for your remarks. my name is michael hager, president of the education for employment foundation. which is active in five of the middle-eastern countries including west bank and gaza. i would like to know, sir, what is the policy of the quartet with respect to gaza? my understanding has been from the beginning that the quartet hoped to show the citizens of gaza that there was a better life in the west bank and that the hamas should be rejected. i remember being in gaza city shortly after the election and being told that if that was the policy, that hamas should be the last man standing. i would like your views on whether that was really the policy. and, secondly, what do you think the impact is in terms of the youth who, a large ma
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majority of whom have no economic whatsoever, and may have other ways to work out their frustrations. thank you. >> well, i think on the second part of your question is what i was just addressing. it is, i think there is an acute frustration amongst the youth. as you have 60% plus unemployment, you have, whether it's in gaza or whether it's in any country, you have a hell of a problem in containing the emotions and the frustrations of youth. it's not an arab issue, it's an issue that you can't have that and have peaceful development. so i would say that that issue is pretty clear. and the first part of your question related to? the quartet's policy. what george mitchell has been trying to do since the last two
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and a half years. or, well, actually it's tony blair, was trying to do it. was to intervene in relation to the question of how these issues can be solved. but as the gentleman behind you knows, the quartet's -- the quartet envoy has a very limited mandate. in my case, i thought that the mandate was greater, and for a time people humerd me by pretending that i did in fact have a mandate to go beyond economic development. but if you read carefully the terms of the quartet envoy, it is essentially an economic post. it is not a political post. and to drive that home, to me, i was told by some of my
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members of the quartet, notably this country, that the furniture was about to be removed and that we should close the office. and in a short period of time, i had a fair well party to the members of my team from the quartet. it was a sad but liquid affair that we had in jerusalem. and we parted. shortly after that, there was the solution to the problem, which was an invasion of gaza, which lasted, as you'll remember, maybe 24 hours. and that initiative turned on itself and made the relations even worse. then, when there was a resumption of the idea about the quartet, it's a long story. but basically, tony blair took
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it on. and he has had a limited mandate ever since. so i would say that the quartet has little or no activity other than economic. and, that the wait is now clearly as it was with secretary rice and her colleagues, very much a u.s. driven activity. because the concession that the quartet was a concession, in my judgment, and was never really real. and if you can wait until june or july when my book comes out, it will give you chapter and verse in relation to it. and i hope you will all buy a copy because it's such an exciting story. >> ralph, retired research chemist. while the nigerian who was apprehended in detroit did not come from a deprived
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background, i wonder, still, what role or effect that shock and ah bombing, search and destroy missions, demolition of housing and seizure of borders has contributed or generated suicide bombers. >> well, there's not been -- to the visible suicide bombers, whether they're in the region of palestine, israel, or other places, including our own country, the attacks of more than five years ago, the people that were conducting those attacks were by and large ed cate, reasonably fibshlly supported. so it was not -- it was not that group of people that can't get work. and the experience thus far in suicide bombings, other than local events where someone straps dynamite to themselves
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and goes blows up something. but the bigñi ones have been do by a more intellectual group. and, indeed, this gentleman i think the most recent one was a graduate of the london school of economics, i think. so there's not a necessary connection between inability to get work and suicides. but one thing that i think is very clear at the moment is that the overall economic disadvantages and the actions of the israeli military, while the israelis would i think justify it on the basis of a response to continued pressure, doesn't really play well with either the general community or with the palestinians because it seems that if you have 1500
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people killed and 500 injured in the attacks, that is disproportionate to the problem. and i would say that world opinion is probably in support of that view. on the other hand, if you talk to israelis, public opinion there is that it was responsive to what has been happening to them. it is very, very difficult issue. there are some wise people, however, that are trying to resolve it and saying that resolving that particular argument is not essential to bringing about a peace. and abut mazzen is one of them and the prime minister is another. they are not trying to win that argument. they're maintaining their position, but they're moving on to try and see if there can be a resolution of the economic
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and other issues. and 70% of the people, both palestinian and israeli, would like to see some sort of settlement. and they're not defining it directly by lines or -- so i think there is a strong feeling. and the one thing that i've noticed in the last few years is that there are many, many more informal contacts between the palestinians and the israelis at the business level and in the constructive level, civil society level, than was apparent when i was the envoy. i've been to both the palestinian territories and israel many times in the last few years, and it really surprises me and pleases me that underneath the rhetoric, which is ever more vigorous, and maybe more justified, there is nonetheless a group of young palestinians and israelis and some older leaders of whom i
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probably would put at teñr top human paris, who really see through this and see that the ultimate answer has to be peaceful co-existence. >> i'm going to give you the last brief question and then we're going to go to the panel. >>çó thank you. gary mitchell. i'm interested in your perspective on the extent to which the battle of the narratives has a role in this issue, and particularly with respect to youth dissolutionment. and what i'm referring to is the notion that i think we have sort of taken the easy path of saying that osama bin laden and al qaeda don't really offer an alternate vision. but for some, the notion of a cal fate is an alternate
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vision. and, that it's imperative on us at large to engage in a counter narrative. and i'm interested in your thinking about whether that's accurate. and, b, whether you think that's something that can have an influence, particularly on youth. >> i obviously have read and listened to arguments at that level. but i don't think this thing is going to be solved there. i think the debate is going to be about what were the conditions that were established probably first by bill clinton, which are not going to be modified very much other than in relation to the physical arrangements on the ground.ñr 95% or so of the land is clear, 5% will be a land swap.
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it's unlikely that you will have a return of the palestinians other than a symbolic return. that the rest of the issue will be solved by compensation. that you'll do a deal on jerusalem. and the quicker that you can get there, in the end that's going to be the resolution of the problem. and the isralies will insist on having a united jerusalem. and they'll back down from that. they'll have to. and what is critical is that, in my judgment, that the united states at some point gives this the priority to insist on it. because i don't think there's much time. and i think if it is not resolved, then the issue will become far less important that he will then have an issue of a single israeli state for years with a large and growing
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palestinian involvement ultimately, possibly a majority , with the jewish settlers becoming -- or the jewish and israeli inhabitants being more and more influenced by a fast-growing religious group which is destabilizing israeli society. and i think -- i haven't spoken to bb about it, but i think that the leadership in israel must recognize that the next year or two is a time when you have to do a deal. i think it ought changes after that. i think at the moment you could get arab support for a deal. who knows what will happen in two years' time. there may be a whole lot of other internal issues which make it impossible. so my own belief is, if i were israeli or if i were palestinian, i would be looking
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to try to get something done. and the fact that 60 to 70% of the population believe that makes me believe that there is a chance. i just hope the leadership will carry it through. but in the next panel you have real experts, so you should ask them instead of listen to a former civil servant. >> but still olympian sensor. that's a perfect seg but, obviously, jim before we give up the to the panel. i would to thank you but i hope you join me in inviting everyone here to come back for a discussion of your book when it comes up. >> thank you very much. and we'll give a discount too, to anybody. [applause]
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>> here's a look at our schedule. coming up next, secretary of state hillary clinton briefs reporters. about 15 minutes we'll have more about haiti with live remarks from president obama and former presidents bill clinton and george w. bush. and coming up at noon, the inauguration for newly elected virginia governor bob mcdonl. >> now, secretary of state hillary clinton briefing reportersxd yesterday on u.s. relief efforts in haiti. she is traveling to the country today. we'll hear more about her trip right now. this is about 25 minutes and we'll show you as much as we can before live coverage of
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president obama and former presidents clinton and bush. >> i want to take a moment first to thank the american people who have been extraordinarily generous in the amount of support that they have shown for the people of haiti during this devastating period. through a state department partnership with the red cross and m give, we have raised more than $10 million from more than 1 million donors through our haiti relief campaign. it has become the single largest mobile donation campaign ever. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the red cross for their activities on the ground in haiti. but the devastation is far greater than we could have imagined, so please keep texting haiti, haiti, to 90999
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where $10 will be charged to your cell phone. i'm also pleased to announce a new tool on state.gov for those searching for loved ones in haiti. or, for those who have information. you can find the person finalder on www.state.gov/haiti quake. and more information will be posted soon. i also have decided after consulting with president obama and others in our government that i will be traveling to haiti tomorrow. we will be meeting with the president and other members of the haitian government, along with the members of the u.s. government team on the ground
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including our civilian and military leaders. we will also be conveying very directly and personally to the haitian people our long-term, unwaivering support, solidarity, and sympathies. to reinforce president obama's message yesterday, that they are not facing this crisis alone. i will also be able to see first hfer hand the ongoing efforts and deployment of u.s. government person until and resources for maximum impact to support the vital life-saving relief and recovery efforts. we have an incredibly robust and complex set of relationships on the ground in haiti. not only among the various components of the united states government but many of our n.g.o.s, representatives of our
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faith communities, as well as united nations, the international partners, and aid organizations, and i want to have an opportunity to consult with a number of those as well. as you can imagine, details are still coming together. we will get them to you as soon as they can be confirmed. but lastly and perhaps it can't be said often enough, our hearts and our prayers are with the people of haiti. the brave rescue workers that are there on the ground literally working around the clock. we had some wonderfully heart-warming stories today of people being rescued from the rubble alife and well. and to reiterate, the support that we feel for all of those who are caught up in this
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disaster. and, finally, let me just say a word about our embassy team. they have been extraordinary working without stop. they bear the responsibility for the 45,000 or so american citizens there. they are obviously coping with their own losses and worries. but through it all, they've exhibited the just most professionalism, and i'm very grateful and proud of them. >> madam secretary, you know haiti well. you've been there often going back over decades. what do you think you can learn by going yourself tomorrow? what do you want to not only convey to them but bring back? >> well, three things. first, i'll be taking supplies with me and i'll be taking some people who will stay on the ground there.
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this is a convenient efficient way to get both into haiti. i will be bringing out some american citizens who are waiting for evacuation so there are some very tangible reasons for this. i will also be meeting with the president, who has express add great interest in having me come and i know him. we, as you know, had a very close working relationship established with the president and his government. and effort headed up by my chief of staff and counselor but which was again a whole of government enterprise and so we perhaps as well or maybe in some cases better than the rest of our government, kind of know what the plans were, understand what the president and his team are up against. and the haitian government is
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the authority. but they clearly are asking for appropriate help which we are providing. and, finally, it's been my experience over many years now that those of us here who have a lot of the responsibility for excuting our policy, including myself, dr. shaun donovan, counselor mills and others, really can add to our understanding and cut through any misunderstanding that might afoot by faste to faste contact. and it also gives us a chance to report back to our international partners as well. i've spoken to a number of foreign ministers and heads of state who are asking questions about how things are operating and what they can do to contribute. and it just gives you a level of credible credibility in this
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implementation phase that we're finding ourselves in. >> how concerned >> u about the possibility that, as people now are -- live on the streets for several days, don't have food, water, shelter, and are surrounded by corpses in some case of their loved ones, that their sort of anguish may turn to rage? and given the limited capacities of the haitian government, that the spordic looting that one has seen may get significantly worse? and what can the u.s. government do to try to forestal that? >> well, i think it's understandable when human beings are as distressed and stressed as the haitians are, when they've suffered such grieves losses and they're
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still experiencing aftershocks. there were more today, that it is an extremely anxious environment. and add to that the difficulty of loved ones still trapped in rubble, inadequate food, water, medical supplies, you can certainly relate to the challenges that the people of haiti face. i think that everyone agrees that up until this point the matters have been well in hand. but there's a process of grieving, which includes anger. if you look at the stages of grief, that is a stage that is just part of the human d.n.a. we think that the u.n. peace keepers are doing an excellent job. they have about 7,000 peace keepers. they're on the streets, they're
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patroling. they are primarily responsible for law and order. but they need help. the haitian police force has been severely impacted. we get varying estimates of how many are actually left and able to be on the streets themselves. we do have american military assets that we have put at the disposal of the peace keeping force. our three-star general on the ground is personally acquainted over a number of years with the brazilian general in charge and they're cooperating in er way they can. but this is a very tough situation. and that's why we're trying to move as quickly as possible to remedy the underlying causes that might give rise to people being desperate. but we're aware that there are all kinds of potential problems
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on the horizon that we're trying to be prepared to help the haitian government deal with. >> based on what you've been told about how the situation has developed say in the last day or so, do you think that conditions will actually get worse in the days ahead, or do you think that the corner is being turned? >> i think every hour that goes by we get more resources on the ground and more people deployed to act on what is required in the face of this very large disaster scene. so i think we're making a lot of progress. but it kind of goes back to the question, is our progress fast enough for the people who have been without food or water. or who are sitting there with a severely injured relative. i mean, i think if you or i were in that situation, it
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wouldn't be fast enough no matter how fast we were moving. so i think any fair assessment that i could make would show that the united states government, the international community, the n.g.o.s, everybody is really stepping up. and we're making a lot of progress. it's just the race against time, it's a race against time and the search and rescue missions. it's a race against time to establish some means for clearing the roads so that more supplies can get in. but, boy, everybody is pushing as hard as they can. so i think we're making a lot of progress. i just want to make sure we move as quickly and effectively as we can. >> madam secretary, the united states has been giving money and aid to haiti for development for decades. and every time it -- something happens, there's a crisis and the money seems to have -- you seem to take one step forward and kind of fie steps back. and now as you look to not only
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the search and rescue but the long-term recovery of haiti, what can be different this time to make sure that haiti can stand on its own two feet? and you have this fragile political situation with the government. it still is very fragile and weak. how can the government kind of stand up and assert authority, especially now that the president is saying that he would like to return, he would like to help his people and bring supplies. but certainly as a devicive figure as he is, this could sow a lot of discontent. because the people are angry, the people are scared, the people are nervous. do you think this is the right time for him to be returning? >> let me take it one day at a time here. our immediate need right now is to do what is required in the search and rescue phase and then the transitioning to a
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physical recovery effort. clearing the rubble, getting some field hospitals and helping to restock the hospitals that are still standing. the kind of nuts and bolts humanitarian assistance disaster relief work that has to go on now. but i would say, from my perspective, having turned a lot of our attention in this administration to how we could effectively work with haiti starting back last year, we were really making progress. we had a good plan that was a haitian plan. the haitian government created the plan. it was realistic. it was focused. we worked with them. we came in with a very successful donors conference. we had a lot of buy-in from many other countries in this hemisphere and beyond. and it was certainly on track to be, in my view, a very
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positive effort. you know, haiti has suffered enormously over the course of this existence from all kinds of factors. some of them poor governance that we know so well. some of it interference by other countries that set back all kinds of opportunities for forward progress. some of it by just the battering of nature. the country that had four hurricanes last year and a devastating earthquake this year has certainly got more of its share of problems. but i think that we've learned a lot. and there's a resilience among the people of haiti and a commitment on the part of the current government that i think bodes well for being able to bring about reconstruction and recovery efforts than successful. the united nations is heavily
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committed. 06 yussly my hubs band is a special envoy for the secretary general. and it was so ironic that monday night on p.b.s. there was a long story about how haiti was on the way back. it was a story on the jim lare show. i don't know if that's still its name but that's what i call it. and it was such a hopeful story. and it had interviews with elected officials, business leaders, and people who watched that were just so reved up. and one of the things it showed was this really successful business conference that my husband led a few months ago. 500 businessesçó from all over the world. you know, signing contracts, opening factories. the next day, this happens. so -- look, it's not easy. we know there's a long way to go. but i think if we're smart about how we choose to interact
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with them and if we have the right set of expectations, i think this can be done. >> [inaudible] >> i don't have any comment on that. >> i'm wondering if you have an update on unaccounted for americans and whether you are troubled by the fact that the embassy may not have heard from a lot of americans or whether you have explanations. >> i am very troubled. communication is still very difficult. and we are encouraged by those with whom we have made contact and the hundreds and hundreds that we've evacuated at their request. but we're working feverishly to track down as many as we can. and thankfully a lot of people have called in with information. we wouldn't know, for example, as i was looking at the records of this, a friend called a
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friend called a friend and they contacted us. a frantic family. a young woman down there on a missionry medical trip staying in one of the hot ells. nobody heard fromer. so we take every piece of information and try to follow up on it. and we found that young woman alive. and we're finding lots of other people. but it's going to take a number of more days before we can piece all that together. >> a number of countries that pledge assistance to haiti. i guess this would need some coordination. did you plan already an international conference? >> yes. we will most likely have that. the united nations has been instrumental in coordinating what we were doing this past year for haiti. as you know, their mission has been severely impacted.
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we don't know the exact number of lives that have been lost yet. but they are staffing up to try to continue their work. so the united nations will be very much involved. and obviously we have to wait on that. i've spoken with the foreign ministers of several of the countries here in the hemisphere and others in europe as well as the e.u. high representative. and everyone is very willing to help. so there will be an organized effort. we have to get through this first initial period. >> the cubans opened their air space for humanitarian -- >> and we appreciate that. >> i was going to ask that how significant is that. and do you anticipate further or deeper coordination with the cubans in regard to haiti? >> well, we very much appreciate the cubans opening their air space for medical evacuation and emergency flights. and we would welcome any other actions that the cuban
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government could take in furtherance of the international rescue and recovery mission in haiti. >> the president of france today called for an international conference. so you said you would be presenting this. >> i will talk to my friend and among the many that i've spoken with. and we are all committed to doing that. it's not appropriate yet. we're going to need to get through this period. everyone understands that. and then we need to do some needs assessment and then we have to have a division of responsibilities. i don't think it would be productive just to have a conference. we want a conference with kind of assimets that people are willing to accept. and we have to do that in conjunction with both the government of haiti and the u.n. neither of which are yet in a position that they can be able to do that. but we will definitely have such an effort. >> what about contributions
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from rich arab countries? are you aware of any action in this regard? >> i know that we've seaved notice of some contributions. i just can't tell you right now who that is. but there's always room for more. . .
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çamericans have always come together to lend a hand and serve others. that is what the american people have been doing in recent days with their contributions to the haitian people. at this moment we are moving forward with one of the largest relief efforts in our history to save lives and deliver relief that averts a larger catastrophe. the two leaders with me today will ensure that this is matched by an historicq effort that extends beyond our government, because america has no greater resources than the strength and compassion of the american people. we just met in the oval office, an office they both know well. i amç pleased president george.
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bush and president bill clinton had agreed to lead a major fund- raising effort for relief. the clinton-bush haiti fund. i went to thank both of you for returning to service and leading this urgent mission. this is a model that works. after the terrible tsunami in asia president bush turned to president clinton to lead a similar fund. çthat effort raced resources fr the victims of that disaster -- that effort raisedxd resourcesim that helped rebuild communities. that is exactly what the people of haiti need right now. every day that goes by we learn more about the scope of this catastrophe any. the suffering that defies comprehension, families sleeping in the streets, injured and desperate for care. many thousands feared dead. that is why thousands of
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american personnel are on the scene working to distribute clean drinking water and food and medicine, and tons of emergency food supplies are arriving every day. it will be difficult, it is an enormous challenge to distribute this ate quickly and safely in a place that has suffered such destruction. -- distribute this aid quickly. we are working with many organizations, friends from argentina and france, minikin republic and brazil. secretary hillary clinton -- dominican republic and brazil. secretary hillary clinton will be in coordination with this government. we know that our longer-term effort will not be measured in days and weeks, it will be measured and months and years. that is why it is important to
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enlist and sustain the support of the american people. that is why it is important to have a point of coordination for all the support that extends beyond our government. here at home president bush and clinton will help the american people do their part, because responding to a disaster must be the work of all of us. those scenes of devastation might as not only of our çhumanity,t( but our common responsibilities. this suffering can and must be a time of compassion. as the scope of the destruction became apparent, i spoke to each of these gentlemen and last ast the same simple question, how can i help? -- they asked the same question. they will be asking everyone what they can do, individuals, corporations and individuals. i urge everyone who wants to help to visit
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www.clintonbushhaitifund.org. president bush led america's response to the asian sammy -- asian tsunami. as president, bill clinton helped restore democracy in haiti. he has helped to save the lives of millions of people around the world. as the un special envoy to haiti, he understands the daily struggles and needs of the haitian people. by coming together in this way these leaders sent a message to the people of haiti and the people of the world in these difficult hours, america stands united. we stand united with the people of haiti who have shown resilience and will help them to rebuild. yesterday we witnessed a small but remarkable display of that
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determination. haitians with little more than the clothes on their back marched peacefully through a ruined neighborhood. despite their loss and suffering they sang songs of faith and hope. these are the people who were called upon to help. those are the hopes that we are committed to answering. that is why the three of us are standing together today. with that, i would invite each president to say a few words. i will start with president bush. >> i joined president obama in expressing my sympathy for the people ofxd haiti. i commend the president for his swift and timely response to the disaster i am so pleased to answer the call to work beside president clinton to immobilize the compassion of the american people. like most americans, laura and
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i have been following the television coverage. our hearts are broken when we see the scenes of children struggling without a mother or father, or the bodies of the streets and physical damage of the earthquake. the challenges are immense, but there are a lot of devoted people leading the relief effort. from government personnel who have deployed to the disaster zone to the faith-based groups. the most effective way for americans to help is to contribute money. that money will go to organizations on the ground who will be ablew3 to affectively spend it. i know a lot of people want to send blankets or water, just send your cash. one of the things that the
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president and i will do is make sure your money is spent wisely. as president obama said, you can look us up on clintonbushhaitifund.org. it is amazing how terrible tragedies can bring out the best of the human spirit. we have all seen that firsthand when americans citizens responded to the tsunami or katrina, or the earthquake in pakistan. president clinton and i will work to attack that same spirit of giving to help our brothers and sisters in the caribbean. toward the end of my presidency laura made a trip down to haiti to look at the emergency plan for relief programs down there. i remember clearly her coming back and telling me about the
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energy and optimism of the people. there is an unbelievable spirit among the haitian people. while that earthquake destroyed a lot, it did not destroy their spirit. the people of haiti will recover, and as they do they know they will have a friend in the united states of america. mr. president, thank you for giving me a chance to serve. >> first, i want to thank president obama for asking president bush and need to do this, and for what i believe has been a truly extraordinary response on the part of the american government. because i have been working there for nearly a year as the un special envoy, i have been in constant touch with our people through the un on the ground.
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you know we lost a lot of our people there, the largest loss of life in the history of the united nations on a single day. the u.s. has been there from the beginning. the military has been great, the response by the state department has been great. i cannot say enough about it. the people in haiti know it, and i am grateful. i would like to thank president bush for agreeing to do this and for the concern he showed for haiti. before this happened my foundation worked with the people on the aids problems in haiti, and i saw how good they work. finally, let me say that i don't have to read the website because they did, but i want to say something about this. all we need to do is get through
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medicine and water and a secure place for them today. but when we start the rebuilding effort, we want to do what i did with the president's father in the tsunami. we want to be a place where the money -- people will know their money will be well-spent. we will ensure ongoing integrity of the process. we want to stay with this over the long run. my job with the un is not at all in conflict with this because i am the outside guy. my job is to work with donor nations and international agencies, business people around the world to try to get them to investxd theirq, the asian community. i believe before this earthquake haiti had the best chance in my lifetime to escape its history, that hillary and i have shared a
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tiny part of. the haitians want to amend their development plan to take account of what has happened in port-au- prince and go back to implementing it. but it will take a lot of help and a long time. i am just grateful president bush wants to help, and i have already figuredç out how to get him to do things he did not sign off on. again, i have no words to say on what i feel. i was in those hotels that collapsed. i had meals with people who are dead. the cathedral chilled short -- the cathedral church i sat in is in trouble. but it is still one of the most remarkable places i have ever been.
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and they can escape their history and build a better future if we do our part. president obama, thank you for giving us a chance to do a little bit. >> these gentlemen will do an extraordinary job, but what they will be doing is just tapping into the incredible generosity, the ingenuity of the american people in helping our neighbors in need. i want to thank each of them not only for being here today, but what i know will be an extraordinary effort. i want to make sure that everybody thought that website, one more time. obviously we are just standing it up, but it will immediately get people a means to contact our offices. www.clintonbushhaitifund.org.
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we were talking in the back, in any extraordinary catastrophe like this, the first several weeks will just involved getting immediate relief on the ground. there will be some tough days over the next several days. people are still trying to figure out how to organize themselves. there will be fear and anxiety, a sense of desperation in some cases. i have been in contact with the president and have been talking to the folks on the ground. we will be making steady progress. the key now is for everybody in haiti to understand there will be sustained help on the way, but what these gentlemen will be able to do is when the news media starts seeing attention
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drift to other things, but there is the stock -- there is enormous need still on the ground. these two gentlemen will be able to help insure that these efforts are sustained. that is why it is so important and why i am grateful they agree to do it. thank you, gentlemen. >> will any of you travel to haiti soon? >> [inaudible] >> president obama, clinton and bush on relief efforts in haiti. we hear hillary clinton is expected in the country to deliver supplies today. if she makes remarks we hope to
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have them here on c-span. coming up at noon, we will bring you live coverage of the inauguration ceremony for of mcdonnell. that will be at noon eastern here on c-span. --ok ceremony for bobñr mcdonne. >> tufts university history professor on the 1965 voting rights act, the role it played in black radical politics and how it played -- pave the way for future of black leadership. he will discuss this with it washington post editor. >> i describe myself after i left congress as a recovering congressman. >> fred grandy represented iowa for four terms. since 2003 he has been hurt every morning on wbal talk radio. he is our guest this sunday
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night on c-span. >> middle and high school students, just a few days left to enter the stdent cam contest. sent as a video on one of our country's greatest strengths. -- send it to c-span. all the winning videos will be shown on c-span. make sure to upload your project by midnight on wednesday. >> now can salazar holds a town hall meeting for employees of his department. -- can salazar -- ken salazar holds a town hall meeting. >> i am laura davis, the associate secretary of the interior. it is great to see you here.
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this is a wonderful occasion for us as we gather here to talk about the work the interior has done in the last year and the agenda president obama and secretary salazar have for the year ahead. having had the privilege to come here with the secretary last year i can tellw3 you i am amazd at whatt( the secretary has accomplished in a short 12 months. he has an incredible work ethic and a passion for all of the issues that matter to us. i remember onw3 that first day e told us that he would work for more proactive and balanced stewardship to protect our national parks, restore our nation's rivers, result our water supply challenges and address the challenges faced by our native american communities. is he a true to his word or
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what? [applause] he also told us our department,3 the department of america, will be leading the way in changing the world for the better. under his guidanceç and very gentle prodding, we're doing just that. it is an inspiration for me to walk in here every day and work with all of you on the issues that are important to all americans. it is an honor every day to work for secretary salazar and serve the president. thank you, mr. secretary for the opportunity to be here with you. [applause] >> thank you, laura. thank you, laura.
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we have had a great 2009 and we are fired up and ready toç go r 2010. i am fired up. are you? [applause] our work has truly just begun, but i want to say that it would not have been possible to do the great things that we did in 2009 had it had been for the 70,000 men and women who make up the department of the interior. many of you know last week there was something in the media that i would leave to kobe, the governor of colorado -- i said no, as i wanted to be right here with you. [applause] this department, as the custodian of america's natural resources really does so much
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for the 300 million americans. i want to thank everyone who is here and everyone watching us around the country. before i begin i want to briefly recognize everyone in the department, particularly those people who are in the united states geological survey who have been helping to respond to the tragic earthquake in haiti. our thoughts and prayers are with them today and the people of haiti. we will do everything we can to support the administration's rescue efforts as that country struggles with a natural catastrophe that has hit it. today, looking out at all of you i want you to know i am very proud to serve as your secretary. at this moment in history and with this president and with the
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agenda we have developed together, i would rather be secretary of the interior than doing anything else professionally anywhere in the world. almost one year ago nearly 2 million americans gathered together here in the national mall in washington, d.c. remember that day? it was cold and there were tremendous crowds. it was a time to witness the swearing in of a new president, barack obama. who believed then and police now that in our ability -- and believe is now in the ability to change what must be changed and to work together as a people to form a more perfect union. 3wmyçthe belief that we can lr world better than we found it is one we are all called to public service. it is on all of us are here.
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i know this because i have traveled many miles over the last year they beat met many of you across this country. -- i have met many of you. in islands and palm springs. although i have not met everyone at y?xyí in this department in person i do hear from you and i know you hear from me. i know you get my e-mails, and i appreciate those of you who respond. every day i hear incredible stories of public servants to go above and beyond to help deliver change. they are employees like kim, a fish and wildlife service biologist who has poured her selfç and heart into the restoration project in southwest
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florida in the everglades. her hard work has paid off. last thursday the system secretary -- he joined to break ground on the 55,000 acres restoration project. the cornerstone of our efforts to restore the river of grass,i] the everglades in america. let's hear it for kim,and for all. [applause] applause goes to all of the scientist in the department of the interior. thank you for recognizing her. we have had many stars in the interior, including all of you who have been working with chris henderson and the directors and the rest of their employees in the implementation of the recovery act. that is a major responsibility. we need to make sure that it is implemented in the right way, based on the directives that we
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have from president obama and our responsibilities to make sure that we're taking care of the $3 billion that were brought to this department through the recovery act. the people who worked on this effort are many in the department. there people like faye winters in florida. she is the project manager of four recovery projects. like many around the department, she assumed her recovery act responsibilities on top of doing everything else she is doing. she knows people are counting on her to get projects under way so that people can get to work and bring home a paycheck. she knows she is working on projects that will have a long- term sustainability effect on the blm area that she works. they have done a great job and her work made for an extraordinary 150th anniversary for juniper and left like house
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last week. let's hear it for her and everybody working on the recovery act. [applause] we also have many other people who work toro clean throughout this department all-time -- who worke tirelessly throughout this department all the time. they were all on the spot. duane and mike worked on the on site area at the jamestown dannon. there were there for 40 days -- at the jamestown dam. they were there for 40 district without rest.
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-- they weren't there for 40 days without rest. -- they were there for 40 days without rest. [applause] and when the those horrific fires hit california last year and it seemed that all of california was ablaze, people like stew can in were there. she and her team -- people like sued canosue cannon were there. she and her team more on the ground. thank you for doing your work and being proud of the work that you do. thank you for delivering for the american people. give them another round of applause. [applause] we do work from sea to shining
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sea and all over this planet. there are places like american samoa where we are making a difference. we're helping with the tsunami recovery efforts. in haiti, the sciences continue to supply critical data from that critical earthquake. that critical earthquake. and they are all they are all my heroes. they are servants of the people. they are servants of the american people, and i am proud of that. let's hope that they all stay safe, that they are doing what ì(4q3 i just very much appreciate them. so let me talk about interior in 2009. 2009 was a tremendous year of
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accomplishment for all of us. it was also a year of great challenge on both personal and w3professional friends. the recession has beençç -- ad professional fronts. zçg#çrecession has beenç very difficult. it has a deep and personal effect on the people of this country, including many people who work here. some employees and spouses lost their jobs. two incomesçó and some family shrink down to one. college tuition, house payments and more difficult for many of the families here in interior. as fathers and mothers and sons and daughters, must stand to the needs of families first. i hope your career at interior is a source of strength and security for your families. our jobs are far more than a paycheck aren't or hours worked. -- more than a paycheck earned.
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it is in these moments when in our service feels most rewarding and. . president obama is counting on us and the american people is counting on each of us to give their best. we each have a role to play in the american recovery and in the american renewal with a terrific leadership and the terrific team we have in place, we're steering their nation out of the storm that we have been in. we are moving as one, the department of the interior, as one family in a new direction. i published a report this summarizes our first year. it is being circulated and will be sent to all of you by e-mail. it does not include every milestone or every achievement over the last year.
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but it hits on highlights for our department. i see the department as the custodian of our natural resources and the custodian of america's history. that report can be found on line or as you go out. we have focused on six areas in the last year. first is to protect the places that americans' love. second, building a clean energy economy and tackling the effects of climate change. third, working to do right by indian nations and island to meetings. fourth, working with young people in the outdoors so that they can fall in love with the outdoors. fifth, finding solutions to water challenges that vex our country from many places around the country and finally, how we
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change -- changing how we do business at the interior. we are making progressçó in each of these areas. soon after being sworn in, president obama signed sweeping conservation legislation, protecting america's great outdoors. we would like to pause and recognize that, in that act, it was one of the first major bills signed by president obama into law. but the stroke of a pan at the white house in front of the national conservation leadership, they created two million acres of wilderness, added more than 1,000 miles to the national wild and scenic river system, and authorized three national parks, four new national conservation areas, one new national monument, and
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created the management system that covers 5 million acres. that legislation was a terrific start for president obama and for the conservation legacy which we want to build here at interior and for this country. to build on that legislation, we have taken the $3 billion that came to us through the recovery act and we have invested it into america's landscapes. we have also reopened the crown of the statue of liberty. we broke ground on flight 93 as a memorial to those heroes who were on that flight. we have made great strides in restoring the everglades and moving forward with new momentum on the restriction -- on the restoration of the chesapeake and great lakes. i am glad that we have restored the role of science in decision making. the consultations are back in
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the way that they should have been. so, too, are the brown pelican which is back in the kind of numbers it should be and we have declared it to be recovered. the polar bear as a proposed critical habitat now which it did not have before. that is 200,000 square miles of critical habitat in alaska. we have laid out a plan to restore the health of wild source herds and of their ranges. we built the department of interior said first quarter and strategy for confronting the impacts of climate change on america's resources, banks [unintelligible] we have also begun to rewrite the mountaintop mining rules to better protect the appellation streams. we have been days as a full partner with the state of california to tackle the drought and the enormously complex water crisis that they are experiencing.
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on the colorado river, we have established a new protocol for water flows into the grand canyon and through that national park. there is a lot that we have done. but we must do more and we will do more in 2010. i am also proud that, in 2009, we made progress in our efforts to honor the federal government's commitment and responsibility to the indian nations. in november, the president of the united states was here in this place hosting a white house travel nations with more than 400 leaders of the federal derecognized tribes in america appear i. we're working with law enforcement in indian country. with the department of education to improve the 83 schools that serve the 44,000 children over which we have responsibility to provide an education. after 13 long years of
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litigation strangling this department, we have reached a settlement in litigation and nobody thought we could do it. [applause] on the energy front, we have been hard at work to change how we do business and build a comprehensive energy plan for the country. in the last year, we have offered new areas for oil and gas development, but we have instituted reforms to ensure that we're offering leases in the right places and in the right way. importantly, we have opened a new energy frontier on america's lands and oceans that will help power are clean energy economy into the future. for the first time ever, a responsibly -- an environmentally responsible
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program is in place. we have mapped out over 1000 square miles of land in the southwest for solar energy development. we are fast tracking solar and wind projects that can get up and running quickly. we expect that more than 5,300 megawatts of new capacity could be ready for construction by the end of 2010. that is enough power for almost 1.6 million homes. that project construction will create almost 50,000 jobs. let me pause for a minute and just put a punctuation point on what we are attempting to do there. the department of the interior, taking the lead role, will
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have permitted facilities that will have the capacity of generating an excess of 5,000 megawatts of power. a typical coal-fired plant would produce 350 megawatts of power. and therefore, 5,000 megawatts would be the equivalent of more than 15 coal-fired power plants. i am proud to say that it is the department of the interior, the bureau of land management, and the fish and wildlife service who are the point of the spirit in bringing about this renewable energy revolution to america. we should be proud of what the men and women of this department are doing. give them a round of applause. [applause] some people have to see things before they can believe them. some people say that, when we
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try to capture the power of the sun or the power of the wind or the power of the earth through geothermal energy, that it cannot be done, that people have been talking about this forever , through the 1970's when president nixon who announced and pronounced the words energy independence for the first time, when president carter stood in front of the nation and said that we would move forward to energy independence with a moral equivalent of war, yet nothing has happened. what we're doing here under the leadership of president obama and the incentives that have been put into place is we will make believers out of the skeptics. .
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to power our homes and our cars. we can capture the power of the wind off the atlantic. you will see how it is the u.s. will not be left behind denmark which are moving forward on that agenda. a am proud to say department atç the interior is at the point tupper this on that effort. -- is at the point on that effort. more work is underway. to get this done we have restored budgets that had been in decline since 2001. thanks to sue and pamand the many people in the office is -- to pam and the many people in office. it is a very difficult and long process. just as the budget takes time to develop, we must recognize each
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milestone be reached is a culmination of months and years of work at all levels of this department. we have reason to be proud of each and every milestone. but our work in the first year of the obama administration is more than just a some of its parts. it is about a new approach. it is about a practical approach. it is about solving problems for the american people. one of interiors issues, there is rarely an easy issue. there is almost never one answer. that is the way in which it has worked, and that is the reality we confront every day. that is why we must always be open to new ideas. we must adapt our thinking, we must engage the public, and we must learn and apply the best science at hand. the spirit of respect for science is back at all levels of
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this department. the work of the first year reflects a new way of doing business here. in a larger sense, it also reflects a set of values americans want us to uphold, but which have too oftenç been forgotten in recent times. as custodians of our natural, cultural, and historical resources, we had aç duty to protect places that americans love and help all americans connect with their land and their history and heritage. while icons like yellowstone and yosemite are in great hands, many special places beyond our boundaries are quickly disappearing. every year, and 2009 and two dozen five. when you look back -- and 2005. we are missing and 3 million acres per area of land the size
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of connecticut, to development. as the places we love disappear, so do disappear the connections we have for the land. they are the places we americans knew as children, places we hunt, bike, the places we picnic, the place is we unplugged. today, half as many kids get outside as they did 10 years ago. that is half as many kids get outside as they did 10 years ago. 60% of americans do not get the recommended amount of exercise. one-third of adults are not physically active at all. our job at interior is not merely to wisely managed the public's resources to ensure that solar wind and gas development happened in the right places, and at the right
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time, but our job is also to help americans reconnect with the places they know and that fueled our spirit. that is why we are engaging and expanding yputh through programs -- expandingyouth -- expanding youth. we need to connect people with their land and tied the american landscape back together. we can no longer an edge and a national park as insulated or isolated from the land around it. we cannot imagine a national wildlife refuge in the same way. the reality of is we need to think about the ecological systems. we need to recognize climate change and habitat fragmentation and development require us to break old habits and think beyond our usual boundaries. that is why we must seek new
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partnerships with private landowners, and local governments, and tribes as we build an approach to conservation. we must encourage and seek the support of the citizens of america as we move forward in creating our 21st century conservation agenda. end, stewardship can be deeply personal. it is not just about the beauty of the world around us, but about our relationship with the world around us. it is about the places that you and i know, the places we live, and experiences that connect us to a sense of place. each of you has those places. i have those places. for me, theñi place i love the most is my family's ranch in the san luis valley.
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is in amounts over to the east of the valley, and the mound where the sun sets every night in the mountains to the west, and the river that flows through our ranches. those are the places that i love. the birds and wildlife that go through that ranch and around that ranch, those are the places that i love. we each have those places, and we all care deeply about them. all americans do. our challenge is to inspire people to rediscover the lands they love and engage them in their stewardship and protection. americans, i believe, are eager to respond. americans want more parks and more open spaces. they want more time together with their families. they want more chances to connect with one another. ralph waldo emerson once said "
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hinojosa regina hill knows what virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments is the rich and royal man." the american renewal is about jobs and return to economic growth. it is also about how we refuel are american spirit. it is about remembering the values that we share and reconnecting with the places and stories that set america apart. i am excited about the year ahead. i know interior is well suited to lead our country in these times. with your work, with the leadership of president obama and the passion of the people of this department for what we do, we can change the world together.
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thank you very much. [applause] i am told i have time for questions, so i will be happy to take questions. there are some microphones out in the audience. if you have a question, please do not hesitate. >> thank you for the opportunity to address you. my name is arthur nelson. i am with the office of law enforcement and safety. i have been here seven years. i would like for you to answer with a little background.
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next month is black history month. your recent comments about harry reid and that situation, i applaud you for that. what specifically have you done to further promote diversity in this climate, andxd what you pln tr do over the next year to further that process? >> it is a very important and appropriate question. the president and i very much share the view that we need to have a government that is reflective of the face of america. within this department, if you look at the diversity of the 100 or so people i have hired in the political leadership team, you will find that diversity there. if you look at what the
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departments are doing, we are including diversity as a performance factor to make sure we move to having a permit that is reflective of the face of america. let me say two other things about the importance of that. if we keep up with the demographic changes we see in america, that means we are reaching out and including all people. bob is going out and trying to recruit people from varying backgrounds and letting in the note that the door is open and the opportunity is there. we think about the youth programs we started in this department. the fact of the matter is, over the next seven years, 40% of our work force will change.
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it is a great opportunity for us to recruit and make sure we have an inclusive work force, and that will be a high priority of mine. for me, this is an issue that is personal. i recognize where our history as a nation has gotten, and i recognize that in moving towards a more perfect union, at different times there were many places for improvement. this morning as i was coming in, i made an unscheduled stop at one of the great places we are moving forward with, the tell america's story, at the martin luther king memorial where i signed the permit after many long delays were
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construction is under way and people are building a memorial to recognize martin luther king here on the national mall. i spent time with dr. king's older sister, not only here in washington but in at lana where we visited the bird -- in atlanta where we visited the birth home of dr. king. we have often had conversations about how it is important that we tell all of america's story. for sure it is important that we make sure we are taking care of thathe natural wonders that we have and how we move forward with a 21st century conservation agenda. as important as that agenda is, it is equally important an agenda to make sure that we as
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the custodians of history tell all of america's story. that includes the stories of the japanese internment camps, or the story of our newest national park in california, which essentially tells the story of discrimination against african american soldiers in world war ii. that is very much a part of the responsibility of this department. so i would say to you and to all people who are listening to this statement from the, when i speak about diversity, i speak about diversity in its completeness. that means no one gets left behind. not white males and not african- american females, not first american's, nobody gets left behind. [applause]
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c'mon, is 2010. it is time for you to give me questions and comments. i do this in town halls. if you don't start asking questions, i will start picking on you. >> i think at the federal level, we forget about the small groups and individuals. i was wondering what your opinion was on how we can best use our stakeholder groups to spread the department's message and really get all of those
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individuals involved and understand what we are doing. i feel sometimes like people do not know what interior is. i just wonder what you thought we could do to best use those external groups. >> i do think that@@@@@@ h@ @ ℠" as many of you have heard me say before during my senate confirmation, many people only thought we brit the department of the west because that is where we had a huge presence through the bureau of land management. they should also recognize we had 550 wildlife refuges, and the states with the most are north dakota and florida. we have climate change responsibility where we monitor
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the carbon content of the icecaps through the u.s. geological survey. we have relationships with great world heritage areas on both borders of the united states as well as all around this world. it is important. i think we as a family in this department to tell the story of this department. i do that as much as i can. we have two things i think will be very helpful for us. the first is through the efforts of our communications team and caitlin the works on the new media to connect up to people all across america about things we are doing here in this department. for example, just the fact that i am able to female employees in this department, and those of you wondering whether they are my e-mails or not, they are my e-mails. we've had an ability to
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communicate today that we did not have 10 years ago. we are going to maximize those new tools we have available. secondly, in the months ahead we will engage a series of town hall meetings on a conservation agenda around this country. that will take us throughout the united states. as we do that, we will have more opportunities to educate the american people about what it is that we do in this department. a great friend of mine is senator inuit who is 84-years old. this story is a wonderful story that i have heard firstç hand, sometimes with tears in my eyes. i hear him recountzv what happed to him after the japanese bombed pearl harbor. y:s÷ñhew3 and a group of homeld
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americans of japanese descent decided -- a group of hawaiian americans decided to join the army to defend the americans against the horrific attack. mythey were told they could not join because they were japanese. he went on to form what became a battalion, and that a battalion was finally recognized by president roosevelt in an executive order that allowed them to defend the united states of america. he, and leading that battalion received a medal of honor. even today it is the unit of the american military that has received more medal of honor is than any other single unit. to start out with several thousand people and by the end of the war there were down to less than 400 people still live in that effort.
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in his visits over here -- 400 people still alive in that effort. he does not have an hour because it was blown off during the war, but his mind is very sharp. as an elder statesman of america, when he reflects on his department, what he says is, this is the best department of america because, you in this department are the custodians of the natural resources and history of this country. . r@ @ @ @ @ @ $@ @ @
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>> you asked for comments as well. ou last year, my name is ted cook, detailed to assistant secretary strickland. and i want to thank you for how you made my year better.
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>> we go live now to richmond, virginia, for coverage of the inauguration of virginia's new governor. >> it is my honor to present his excellencey, the governor of the commonwealth and the first family of virginia. [applause]
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>> the gentleman. >> mr. president, it is my honor to introduce the inaugural committee. [applause]xdñi
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>> it's like this every day. now you know what i go through.
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are gentleman from sail m. >> mr. president, on behalf of the inaugural committee, i have the honor to present the attorney general elect. ì(lc@&c+
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>> mr. president, on behalf of the inaugural committee, i have the honor to present the lieutenant governor elect. [applause]
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>> mr. president, on behalf of the inaugural committee, i have the honor to present, theçó governor elect, the honorable robert fran siss mcdonnell. [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪
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>> the joint assembling guests will rise and be led in prayer. by the director of the institute for educational initiatives and professor of political science at notre dame. after the invocation, please in staing for the pledge of allegiance for the flag of the united states of america. which will be led by the national guard richmond and for the singing of the national anthem. >> well, my friends and fellow citizens, this is the day the lord has made. let us rejoice and be glad. [applause]
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just join with me, if you would, in a moment of prayer and let's ask god to just pour out god's grace upon our governor elect and on the first lady of virginia to be on maureen and the family. oh, loving god, we just stand in wonder for your power and love and goodness. you've given us an opportunity to live in this wonderful country, a country we cherish. help us to be wise and gentle and loving stewards of the gifts you have given us. pour out your spirit of wisdom and love and joy obour governor elect, on maureen, on the family. help us to just take every step
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of this journey with a deep sense of gratitude. when if burdens become heavy, lighten those burdens for our governor elect, for bob and for maureen. never let them become discouraged. never let them lose hopeçó and always keep before them the image of your son in service to others. and we ask this with confidence and joy this day through christ our lord. amen. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god indivedwissible with
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ribt and justice for all. >> ♪ oh say can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ what so proudly we hail ♪ at the twilight's last gleaming ♪ whose broad stripes and o bright stars ♪ through the peril luss fight ♪ ore the ramparts we watched ♪ were so galantly streaming ♪ and the
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rockets red glare ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ gave proof through the night ♪ that our flag was still there ♪ oh, say does that stars spangled banner yet wave ♪ ore the land of the free ♪ and the home of the brave ♪ [applause]
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>> the joint assembly can be seated. god bless america will now be performed by millly harris of virginia beach. ♪ god bless america ♪ land that i love ♪ stand beside her ♪ and guide her through the night with the light from above
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♪ from the mountains to the prayere ♪ to the oceans white with foam ♪ god bless america ♪ my home sweet home god bless america ♪ my home sweet home ♪ ♪ [applause]
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>> scripture will flow be read by rabi from virginia beach. >> from the hebrew scriptures for the leader, a son of david, lord our god, howçó majestic is your name. you have covered the heavens with your plendor from the mouths of infants and sucklings you have found the strength on account of your foes to put the end to enemy andie venger. when i behold your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you set in place, or man that you have been mindful of him, mortal man that you have taken note of him. that you have made him little
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less than divine and adorned him with glory and majesty. you have made him master over your handi work, laying the world at your feet, sheep and oxen all of them and wild beast too. the birth birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea. whatever travels the path, lord our god, how majestic is your name. and its original hebrew. [speaking in hebrew]
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[applause] >> the oath of office will now be administered to the attorney general elect by the honorable margaret w. degree love, judge, district court of the 14th judicial district.
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>> raise your right hand and repeat after me. i do solemnly swear that i will support the constitution of the united states and the constitution of the commonwealth of virginia and that i will faithfully and impartially discharge all of the duties incumbent upon me as attorney general of the common wethsdz of virginia according to the best of my abilities so
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help me god. congratulations. [applause]
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>> the oath of office will now be administered to the lieutenant governor elect. by the honorable donald w. lemons, justice of the supreme court of virginia. [applause] >> are you prepared to take the oath of office? >> i am more than ready. >> i know you are. repeat after me. i, william t. biology do solemnly swear. that i will support the constitution of the united states and the constitution of
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the commonwealth of virginia. and that i will faithfully and impartially discharge all of the duties incumbent upon me as lieutenant govenoor of the commontsdzwealth to the best of my ability so help me god. congratulations [applause]çó
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>> the oath of office will now be administered to the governor elect by the justice of the supreme court of virginia. >> are you ready to take the oath? >> i am ready, justice. >> please repeat after me. raise your right hand. i robert frances mcdonald donl do solemnly swear thatly support the constitution of the united states and the constitution of the common
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wealth of virginia. and that i will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties incumbent upon me as governor of the common wealth of virginia according to the best of my ability so help me god. [applause] ♪ ♪ [applause]
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>> members and guests, please be seated. i have the honor to present to the sovereign people of virginia the new governor of the commonwealth, his excellencey, robert france is mcdonnell. [applause] >> kind of like one of your fund raisers. thank you. thank you. ok. thank you. thank you. thank you so much.
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for the incredible honor that you have bestowed on me. thank you, mr. speaker, lieutenant governor bolling, members of the general assembly, distinguished guests from around the world and across the country, family and friends, fellow virginiaance, and americans. good afternoon. i want you to know i have kept my first campaign promise, i said that it would be sunny and warm in richmond on inauguration day. [cheers and applause] i've been to many inaugurations, but i want to say this is the best seat i've ever had. we gather today on the steps of our magnificent and newly renovated state capitol. from this hill, the land rolls
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gently down to the james river, the waterway of the settlers in 16 07. from this place, the sweep of history has moved us forward to today. this is the cradle of democracy for virginia and america. governor thomas jefferson designed this capitol building. governor patrick henry came here for the laying of its cornerstone. i am humbled today to follow in their historic foot steps. the general assembly first convened in this new building during the first term of america's first president, and my favorite, virginia's george washington. [applause] behind me mountain rotunda are the busts of the eight virginiaance who became president of the united states. it was here that robert e. lee,
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the son of a virginia governor, was commissioned of the commander of the commonwealth military forces as a young nation split into war. it was here just four years later that president abraham lincoln came to begin the process of euniting a war-torn nation, walking the streets of a still smoldering richmond. and it was here, 125 years after lincoln's visit that a grandson of slaves, l. douglas wilder, took the oath of office as the nation's first african american governor. [applause] and it is here today that an average middle class kid from fairfax county, the grandson of irish immigrants, is given the enormous honor of being the
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71st governor of the commonwealth of virginia. [applause] as it turns out, i succeed another descendant of irish immigrants, governor tim cane. on behalf of a grateful people of virginia, i thank you for your leadership and great service to the commonwealth of virginia. [applause] today, virginia is a thriving and diverse home of nearly 8 million people with one out of ten being born outside of the united states. a state of rich history and strong people, we do face many challenges together. we do not face the challenges of forming a new government or securing a new nation as did henry and jefferson or washington.
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we do not encounter the devastation and destruction of civil war as did lincoln and lee. we do not struggle with the unjust tiss of slavery and its legacy of segregation as did governor wilder as a young man. we do not march into the bullets and artillery she was as the greatest generation did on the beaches of normandy and the eye land of pacific. but two members of that generation who served in world war ii, special people, are with me today. my father, jack, and my father-in-law, frank gardener, are with us today. [applause]
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on behalf of a grateful common wealth and nation, i thank them and all the members and veterans of the military for their incredible sacrifice and service to our nation that continues today. the actions of those patriots that have come before us had a common purpose, to create and expand freedom and opportunity for the generations that were to come behind them. the creation of and desire for opportunity has shaped virginia from its very foundation. it was in seeking the opportunity of a new world that captain john smith and 104 brave settlers braved the perilous atlantic to step on the shores of cape henry in 16 07. it was in securing the opportunity of a new nation
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that virginia patriots joined in the first fight for independence and thus was born a country of ordered liberty that now 234 years late ser still a beacon of hope for the world. it was in seizing the opportunity of an equality and good education that a courageous 16-year-old girl, barbara johns, memorialized behind this majestic capital at the virginia civil rights memorial stood up and walked out of high school in farmville 59 years ago this spring. new opportunity helped them meet the challenges of their times. greater opportunity will help us meet the challenges of our future. together, we must create jobs and provide more economic opportunities for our people. provide new educational opportunities for all virginiaance and enhance family and community opportunities by easing the burden of government
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on a free people. as virginia -- [applause] we believe that government must help foster a society in which all our people can use their god-given talents and opportunities to pursue the american dream. where opportunity is absent we must create it where opportunity is limited is we must expand it. where opportunity is unequal we must make it open to everyone. our administration will be dedicated to building a commonwealth of opportunity for all of us. [applause] it starts with restoring economic opportunity for virginia ns in this great state. today, tens of thousands have lost their jobs.
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thousands more worried that they could be next. as we confront the worst economy in generations, the creation of new job opportunities for our citizens is the obligation of our times. so all virginia nses who seek a job can seek meaningful work and the dignity that comes with it. virginia has received high rankings over the years for being a very business friendly state. this speaks very well of our past but they do not determine our success in the future. competition for jobs are intense among the states and between nations. states are aggressively positioning themselves to best appeal to the entrepreneurs and the job creators. we must make this the best state in which to start and grow a small business. [applause] and that is why we will seek to
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reduce burdensome taxation and regulation that impedes job creation. it is why even in these tough times we will have the foresight to invest today in ideas and economic policies that increase economic prosperity tomorrow. this economic downturn has touched every one of us. declining home values and diminished retirement accounts have wiped away in just a few short months the accumulation of savings of a lifetime. as jobs are lost, and consumer confidence remain low, state revenues have declined and historic budget shortfall has now stretched into the billions. thus, like so many households and businesses yom across the commonwealth, state government needs to devise new ways to operate and to find savings. this will not be easy, but it is necessary. the circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and restore the proper and
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efficient role of government. without reform, the continued growth of government can threaten our very prosperity. we must properly fund the core priorities of government which we all treasure. but equally important, we must use innovation and privatization and consolidation in order to deliver government services more effectively. and as we enact these reforms, we must remember the central truth. that government cannot guarantee individual outcomes but a quality of opportunity must be guaranteed for all. [applause] all must have the same fundamental opportunities to work hard, live free, and succeed in this great state. access to a quality education is the foundation of our future opportunity.
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my dad stressed to me as a young kid. son, if you want to get a good job, you need açó good educatio it was true then, it's even more true today. we are blessed with so many great schools, with dedicated professional teachers like my sister nancy who worked tirelessly to mold the minds and character of the next generation, to compete in this global economy every young virginiaen must have the opportunity for a world class education from pree school to college. [applause] a child's future prospects should be as unlimited as his intelligence, his integrity, and his work ethic can take him. no child in virginia should have her future determined by her place of birth or her zip code. [cheers and applause]
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so we will work with president obama to expand high quality charter schools and institute performance pay for our great teachers. more money must go to the classroom and less to administration. and new opportunities must be found in the science and technology and engineering and health care professions that will provide the great jobs of tomorrow. and let us recognize now that a high school degree is no longer the finish line. we must create affordable new pathways to earning college degrees. and i intend to pursue a recommendation to confer 100,000 new degrees over the next 15 years in our great state of virginia. and we must make our community colleges national leaders and workforce development and career training, because these are the investments that will pay individual and societyal dividends for many years to
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come. barbara johns was willing to risk everything for the simple opportunity of a good education. surely, nearly 60 years later, we can work together to provide that opportunity for all of virginia children. our administration will demand excellence, reward performance, provide choices, and celebrate achievement. god has bestowed on our great commonwealth an amazing amount of natural resources. virginiaens have the intellectual capital to use these resources to create new jobs, reduce our energy bills, and make our nation more energy independent. we will make virginia the energy capital of the east coast. [cheers and applause] and we will do so by growing our natural gas and coal
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industries, expanding the use of nuclear power and promoting new energy technologies like wind and solar and biomass and champion environmentally safe exploration and production, bringing with it thousands of new jobs. plauseplause and the revenue and capital investments that come with it. now, we must also seize the opportunity to improve our transportation system by getting long overdue projects under way, utilizing new ideas to build roads and bridges and rail and ports that we need. a better transportation system will create new opportunities for our citizens all over this state. now, these are the policies focused on addressing the real problem that people in virginia face in delivering real results. i've had the opportunity to listen to people across the state over the last years, and some have told me they fear
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that america may no longer be the land of opportunity that it has always been and that virginia's leading role in history may be just that. history. they are wrong. [applause] working together as virginia ns, republicans, democrats, and alike, this commonwealth will continue to blaze the trail of opportunity and prosperity. and like the mechanic looking to the owners' manual for guidance on how to trouble shoot the car, we should look to the founders and their writings for wisdom in governing. [applause] the founders capstone on the great american constitution was the bill of rights. no state or federal mandate nor
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program crafted by either political party should ever undermine the central principle of federalism enshrined in the birth certificate of america by those who pledged their lives and their fortunes and sacred honor. the founders recognized that government closest to the people governs best. more often -- [applause] more often than not, richmond knows better about the hopes and fears and dreams and aspirations of americans than does washington. [applause] and, likewise, fairfax, virginia beach, hope well know better than richmond. [applause]
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now, as we enthuseyassically pursue this vision of a common weltteds of opportunity, i urge all to continue to seek your own opportunities to get more involved in the life of our commonwealth. half a century ago, president kennedy uttered those immortal words that you all recall. ask not what your country can do for you. ask what you can do for your country. today, i urge all to rise up and meet this timeless challenge. we live in the most generous nation on earth. so many give sacrificially of their time and their talents and their treasure, and rightly so. for the scriptures say to whom much is given much will be required. right now, irge -- right now, much is required in this nation and much is required for the people of haiti.
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so i urge all to donate generously to the relief efforts currently under way in haiti. [applause] here in this commonwealth, i urge business owners to look for an opportunity to sponsor a little league team, promote a charity, promote corporate sponts in which you live and you work. i urge all leaders of the faith communities to expand your selfless work of helping the homeless, feeding the hungry, and comforting the broken hearted. i urge all the young people of virginia to use your god gin talents and your energy to fully engage in the future of this common weths. i urge you who came here from foreign lands to contribute your culture, your history, and your traditions to the rich taps stri of life in virginia. i urge every virginia nch to
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take every opportunity to thank a man or woman in a law enforcement or military uniform for the preservation of our freedom. [applause] [cheers and applause] there is so much that each one of us can do with our individual and unique talents to leave us a better place than we found it.
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no government program can possibly substitute for the incredible good done every day through voluntary actions performed freely by caring individuals in virginia. and while government can help provide opportunities, it is every person's individual responsibility to take advantage of them. in recent weeks, i've seen people exercising that responsibility and changing lives as a result. i visited the healing place here in richmond, the carpetter's shelt anywhere alexandria, the food banks in for foke and richmond, the boys and girls clubs in virginia beach, the uso in for foke and all those places great work was being done by caring people. as a common weltted, we must do the same, and we will. standing here today on the steps of this great state capitol in the inspiring shadows of our shared history behind us, we embrace the
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limitless opportunities stretching out far before us. and it is now here in this place that i ask all to mutually pledge to work together to create this opportunity for all virginia and add our collective foot steps to those of our founders through virginia's journey. it was george washington who noted in his first inaugural address a timeless truth. the smiles of heaven can never be expected to remain on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained. it is right to help one another. it is right to work together to get results and solve problems. it is right to provide opportunities for all our citizens. so, my fellow virginiaens, my friends, leaders from across the state, let us heed the
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words of the father of our country. employ these eternal rules of order to right, and get to work for the good of the people of virginia. thank you. god bless virginia. and god blets this great country. [cheers and applause] >> so bob mcdonnell now officially the governor of virginia, he becomes the state ds 71st chief scuteyi and will give his first staid address next week. that will begin live at 7:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. this weekend on book tv, marine corps university professor on military leadership and winning counter insurgency wars. also, children's book auttedsor
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and illustrator on growing up in communist checks lovackia. part of a weekend filled with nonfiction books on c-span 2. for the complete schedule, go to book tv.org. >> earlier today, president obama announced new relief efforts to help the people of
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haiti. former presidents george w. bush and bill clinton will lead the drive to raise money. this is about 15 minutes. >> at times of great challenge, americans have always come together to lend a hand and to serve others and do what's right. that's what the american people have been doing in days with contributions to the haitian people. at this moment we're move forward with one of the largest relief efforts in our history. the two leaders with me today will ensure that this is
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matched by an historic effort that extends beyond our goved because america has no greater resource than the strength and the compassion of the american people. we just met in the oval office, an office they both know well. and i'm pleased that president george w. bush and president bill clinton have agreed to lead a major fund raising effort for relief. the clinton-bush haiti fund. on behalf of the american people, i want to thank both of you for returning to service and leading this urgent mission. this is a model that works. after the terrible tsunami in asia, president bush turned to president clinton and the first president bush to lead a similar fund. that effort raised substantial resources for the victims of that disaster. money that helped save lives, deliver aid, and rebuild communities. that's exactly what the people of hati desperately need right now. every day that goes by we learn
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more about the horrifying scope of this catastrophe, destruction, and suffering that defies comprehensive. entire communities buried under mountains of concrete. families sleeping in the streets, injured, desperate fr care. many thousands feared dead. that's why thousands of american personnel, civilian and military, are on the scene working to distribute clean drinking water and food and medicine and thousands of tons of emergency food supplies are arriving every day. it will be difficult. it is enormous challenge to distribute this aid quickly and safely in a place that has suffered such destruction. that's what we're focused on now, working closely with our partners, the haitian government, the united nations and many orgsaces and nations, friends from argentinea and france, dominican republic and brazil and countries all around the world. and secretary hillary clinton will be in haiti today to meet
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with the president and continue our close coordination with his government. but we also know that our longer term effort will not be measured in days and weeks. it will be measured in months and even years. that's why it's so important to enlist and sustain the support of the american people. that's why it's so important to have a point of coordination for all the support that extends beyond our government. here at home, presidents bush and clinton will help the american people to do their part, because responding to a disaster must be the work of all of us. indeeds, those scenes of devastation remind us not only of our common hue mant but also of our common responsibilities. this time of suffering can and must be a time of compassion. as the scope of the destruction became apparent, i spoke to each of these gentlemen and they each asked the same simple
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question, how can i help. in the days ahead they will be asking everyone what they can do. individuals, corporations, n.g.o.s, and institutions. i urge everyone who wants to help to visit the clinton bush haiti fund.org. we're fortunate to have the service of these two leaders. president bush led the response to the tsunami that prevented even greater loss of life. and the efforts to treat hiv aids in africa treated more than 10 million men and women. as president bill clinton helped restore democracy in haiti. as a private citizen he has worked to save the lives of millions of people around the world. he understands intimately the daily struggles and needs of the haitian people. and by coming together in this way, these two leaders send an
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unmistakeable message to the people of haiti and to the people of the world. in these difficult hours america stands united. we stand united with the people of haiti who have shown such incredible resilience and we will help them to recover and rebuild. . .
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and pres. clinton and i are going to work to tap that same spirit of giving to help our brothers and sisters in the caribbean. toward the end of my presidency, laura made a trip down to haiti to look at the emergency plan for aids relief program down there. i remember clearly her coming back and telling me about the energy and optimism of the people of haiti. there is an unbelievable spirit amongst the haitian people. and while that earthquake destroyed a lot, it did not destroy their spirit. the people of haiti will recover and rebuild, and as they do, they know they will have a friend in the united states of america. mr. president, thank you for giving me the chance to serve. >> first, i want to thank president obama for asking
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president bush and me to do this and for what i believe has been a truly extraordinary response on the part of the american government. because i have been working down there for nearly a year as the u.n. special envoy, i have been in constant touch with our people through the u.n. on the ground. it the largest loss of life in the history of the united nations, our people, in a single day. the military has been great. the response by the state department and a.i.d. has been great and i cannot say enough about it. the people in haiti noted and are grateful. the second, i would like to thank president bush for green to do this and for the concern
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that he showed for haiti. -- for agreeing to do this and for the concern that he showed for haiti. i saw how many lives they saved. finally, let me say that i do not have to read website because they did, but i want to say something about this. right now, all we need to do is get food and medicine and water and a secure place for them to be. but when we start the rebuilding effort we want to do what i did with the president's father and the sazanami area. we want to be in a place aura as we know that -- where people can know that their money will be well spent, where we can ensure the integrity of the ongoing process. we want to stay with this over
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the long run. my job with the u.n. is not in conflict at all with this because i am the outside guy. my job is to work with the donor nations, the international agencies, the business people around the world to try to get them to invest there, the non- governmental organizations, the haitian diaspora community. they have the best chance of a lifetime to escape their history, a history that hillary and i shared a tiny part of. i still believe that. it is going to take a lot of help and a long time. i'm just grateful that president bush wants to help and i have already figured out how i can get him to do some things that he did not sign on for. [laughter] again, i have no words to say of
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what i feel. i was in those hotels that collapsed. i had meals with people who are dead. the cathedral church that hillary and i sat in 34 years ago is total rubble. but what these men had said it is true, it is still one of the most remarkable, unique places i have ever been. and they cannot escape -- and they can escape their history and build a better future if we do our part. president obama, thank you for giving us the chance to do a little of that. >> the gentleman are going to do an extraordinary job. but really, what they are going to be doing is tapping into the incredible generosity, the ingenuity, the can-do spirit of the american people in helping our neighbors in need. i want to thank each of them not only for being here today, but
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what i know is going to be an extraordinary effort. i want to make sure that everybody got that website -- one more time. obviously, we are just standing it up, but it will immediately give people a means to contact our offices. www. clintonbush8 haitifund.org. in any catastrophe like this, the first several weeks are going to involved is getting immediate relief on the ground. and there will be some tough days in the next several days. people are still trying to figure out how to organize themselves. there is going to be fear and anxiety. a sense of desperation in some cases.
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i have been in contact with the president there. i have been talking to folks on the ground. it will be making slow and steady progress and the key now is for everybody in haiti to understand that there is going to be sustained help on the way. but what these gentlemen are going to be able to do is when the news media starts seeing its attention drift to other things but there is still enormous need on the ground, these two gentlemen of the extraordinary stature, i think, are going to be able to help ensure that these efforts are sustained. thank you, gentlemen. >> those remarks from about 11:00 this morning. secretary of state hillary clinton is expected in haiti today. she is bringing a planeload of
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supplies to some of the embassy workers and they addressed the media during her trip. we hope to get coverage of her remarks. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> this weekend, tufts university history professor, and neil joseph on the 1965 voting rights act, the role played in black politics and out it pave the way for future african-american leadership. he will discuss his book on afterwards a as part of this weekend's "book tv" on c-span2. >> fred grandy represented by what in congress for four terms. he was president and ceo of goodwill industries, an actor, and since 2003, he has been heard every morning on w a l l talk radio in washington d.c..
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>> middle and high school students, just a few days left to enter c-span posies studentcam contest. -- c-span's studentcam contest. you could win a grand prize of $5,000. there is $50,000 in total prize money, and all of the winning videos will be shown on c-span. make sure to upload your project by midnight wednesday at studentcam.org. >> coming up next, democratic michigan representative bart stupak holds a town hall meeting to discuss proposed health care legislation. he took questions from constituents as lawmakers across the country continue to hold similar meetings this month. from michigan technological university, this is about an hour-and-a-half.
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>> i've done town hall meetings throughout my whole career. i enjoy doing them. tomorrow morning we will be in berrigan and i will go down iron around late tomorrow night with a bunch more meetings and back in washington on monday. and hopefully you filled out the orange card when we do town hall meetings. if you would, fill those out, turn them back into the back table back there and we will keep you informed. i have been doing more telephone town hall meetings. as you know, my district is half the state of michigan, 600 miles from one end to the other. my next town hall meeting will be the first week in february. what we do, we have a vendor who called about 35,000 people and ask them if they want to be on the call. i get on there and say a few words from a what is going on for.
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then i end up opening it up for questions. i do that as a way to stay in touch with everybody with a district that is half the size of michigan. if i can have all 31 of my colonies at one time. -- counties at one time. we're always looking for different ways to reach out, inform people, keep individuals involved. if you have an issue that you do not want to bring up in public, we have people in the back to speak with you. but we have senator stabenow here as well. if you have something to address, and sure they can take those concerns back. as i do with my town halls, i give you an update. since we have been doing a lot
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of work on health care, that has been the main focus, the size jobs and the economy. i have a powerpoint. let me just say a few things, what is going on, health care, the economy, jobs, and then we will open it up for questions. i did set aside an hour and a half. we have a big crowd here tonight. we have a lot of people standing. when we get to questions, i'm going to ask that you ask a question and be respectful of everybody. a lot of times a town hall meetings, people want to get up and give a five-minute speech. i'm going to cut you off. let's go right to the questions. we have a lot of people and a lot of questions. last night we had at least this if not more, and the night before we had at least to under 50, and the night before that a a good 150. interest is great in what is
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going on in our country. let me give you a quick example. 2008 was an election year. when sought a big spike in e- mails, fax messages. we had to answer 50,000 inquiries into our office. as of december of this year -- 50,000 last year and that was about a 20% increase over the preview -- previous year. as of december, we were at 82,000. and by the time we close the books on 2009, we will be close to 90,000 inquiries. we have the same staff. we are trying to answer them. some of the answers might be a bit slow with all that volume. that is almost a 50% increase in the last year alone. i think the reason is because we are doing a number of things. before i go much further, the president of michigan tech is here. i want to thank michigan tech for trying to accommodate us, a large crowd.
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when president obama came in in january, we have a lot of issues that congress that we will address later. we will kick the can down the road. we cannot deal with that right now. whether you agree with that or not, we have been tackling the issues. and that has caused concerns. when president obama came into office, the economy was in a free fall, we were fighting two wars, we've got health care issues, chrysler and gm that were in trouble. in this first year alone, one of the first bill that we did was equal pay for equal work, which eenal pay for equal work, which trying to do for years. women should be paid the same as men. but it was the ledbetter case where women on the average make
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87 cents on the dollar compared to the same job that a man does. equal pay for equal work. that is signed into law. in february, we signed the expansion of the schip, the children's health insurance program. 10 million more young people are on the health care program. we did the economic stimulus package, the american recovery reinvestment act. we did the loans -- and remember their loans -- to gm and chrysler. you name it, this congress has tackled it. i will not say it is perfect. a lot of what we have done has gone to the senatuój)e still waiting for the senate to act. and of course, one of the biggest bills we have ever done is health care. as you know, i sit on the energy and can't -- commerce committee, and it has a jurisdiction over health care. the health committee is founded in the commerce committee.
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just before we left in mid december we passed another bill called a "main street jobs" bill. that bill came about as the states were telling us -- as you know, every five years would take money out of the highway fund to fund transportation projects. the program expired in october. the state said, well, we like the program because a% is from the highway trust fund money and we have to put a 20% match. but they said the economy throughout the nation was so poor that we cannot come up with the matching funds anymore. michigan left around $600 million, i think it was, on the table. they could not use the money because they did not have the 20% match. what they did is in december, we
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passed this mainstream jobs bill. what we said is that instead of doing a five-year highway bill, why don't we take what we normally spend, which is about $27 billion in infrastructure projects and highways and bridges, move it out of trust fund and instead of having a much -- in matching share of 20% be 100% paid for by the federal government. for every billion dollars to spend, they estimate it preserves 23,000 jobs. that was our thought process. that bill has passed. there are a couple of other things in that bill. there is a revolving loan fund for water infrastructure projects. that is $27.5 billion. there's another extension of unemployment in that legislation, a 14 week extension. and there're a couple of other things in there. that bill passed and went to the senate. i expect the senate today that go up very soon.
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the president said he would like to see the bill passed by the end of january. it does not do us any good to wait until -- a debate the bill and wait until march, april, made to pass the bill and say, ok, now try to do your road projects. as you know, by october, november, we have snow up here and we lose the construction season. it is only one-year program for 2010 only. and then we will do the five- year job bill after that. hopefully, when the states are doing better they can do the matching fund and getting people -- the matching funds and get people back to working. we talk about jobs, the economy, and we were trying to work on ways to help them out. improving power lines, water,
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sewer, whenever it might be. no matter what aspect of our economy you look at, health care is a vital part. it is 16% of our economy. that is a big trunk. whether you are trying to employ people at your shop, manufacture parts, at michigan tech, what ever, the cost of health care is so expensive that no one can afford it. when we are looking at it, they pay more for every car they make -- they pay more for health insurance than every piece of steel that goes into that car. the cost has driven the cost of all products. the cost has hurt as locally, hurts our families, nationally compared -- nationally, competitively. everything we do, healthcare has a role.
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i'm starting my 18th year in the congress. it is the one bill that that i have ever worked on that affects everyone. it affects everyone of us, from your first to your last breath. we find even with good health insurance you are just one disease away from bankruptcy. healthcare is a major part. i want to spend a lot of time on that then we will get into questions. before we go much further, let me take a minute to think the men and women and families of the 1431 company that just came back from afghanistan. they were also in operation at
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iraqi freedom. no matter what you think of the wars, we owe those men, women, and their families a great debt of gratitude. the images the view some idea of the numerous military accolades the company earned their to under 31 missions performed in afghanistan. they earned 107 accommodations, 94 combat action badges, 26 bronze stars, and more than 34 purpleheart. these are all testaments to the courageous efforts these people made on our behalf. they do not ask about the politics of the war. we owe them a great debt of gratitude. i hope you join me in the round of applause for the men and women who serve us. [applause]
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while they are deployed they have health care. all americans, i believe, should have health care. let's get into the health-care legislation. let me go through this power point. it is about 20 minutes. natalie have gone through committee through the house, the senate, it is now 39 slides. we do now that we have gone through committee. if you have any questions, i will try to go back and answer them. this is the size of my district. we are about 600 miles and one of the largest congressional districts. some people said i have not done enough town hall meetings. everything from indian river to wnmu to read it simultaneous tv
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and radio in september. we also do the telephone town hall meetings. the first week in february will probably be the next one. philip the green card -- the orange card and we will get you on the call. -- fill out the card. i'm starting my fourth year of investigations into the insurance industry. it is an interest i have always had. these are some of the hearings we have had. you're going to hear about the medicare advantage. we did nursing home standards and passed the law 25 years ago and have never had a hearing on that. long-term care insurance, are consumers protected? june 16th, termination of individual health insurance policies. if you are buying an individual
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family policy eiffel application, right? we had two hearings on this. when you fill up the insurance policy, most companies have about 1400 different codes. you go to the local drugstore in the fill up the prescription. if you trigger a code that will review your policy because with that code triggered might be very expensive medical treatment might be facing in the future and therefore they will jump you -- dump you. for instance, one family as they were filling out the form the told him to put out he was 180 pounds but he was really 250 pounds. they dumped him and said he lied on his application. when it terminated from your health insurance policy, who do
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you appeal to? the company that just the end user you do not have a repeal rights. -- the company that just dumped you so you don't have repeal rights. they're all kinds of things. we did a couple hearings on that. insured, but not yet covered. you'll see when we talk about bankruptcy. most people file because of medical reasons. most of them have health insurance and their insurance doesn't cover anything. they are under insured. the high cost of small business. businesses have told us repeatedly their number-one concern is to have good quality, dedicated employees they like to provide insurance to. there is the rates so high it that they cannot afford it.
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the purge them that way. it does not do employer any good to have a good, solid employee he testily is because they can no longer afford insurance. these are some of the hearings we have had. we have had. the house will 3962, the house bill 3962, health care crisis, as i said in michigan -- let's take a look at the annual premiums from 2000-2007. they rose 78.2%. what i said and you can afford it, government can't afford it, businesses can afford it, you cannot keep up at 78% increase when it reaches are only going up 4.6%. the average health-insurance policy -- the median income in
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our congressional district is 38,007 of $71. if you had to pay $13,000 $375, that is before house payments, cars -- $13,375. that is before house payment, cars. 78% of these people have health insurance. they thought they had coverage. they did not think it would be in bankruptcy. as i said, we are all one illness, one accident away from bankruptcy. the average family policy, you get an extra thousand dollars each year, $1,000 in premium cost coverage for injured. one in every -- one american dies every 12 minutes because they do not have health
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insurance. we are the main committee that has jurisdiction over health care in the house. we worked on this writer to the first of the year. this was introduced on june 19th. all the interest groups were on the internet and took shots at it. we started on july 14th and amended it. there was another bill put on the internet. we started the committee markup. what i mean by markup is the amendment process. we start at 8:00 a.m. with for basically two weeks even though we did not meet. votes were taken were the committee was actually convened july 16th-31st. brazil had 55 more minutes to go. congress had recess for august. we're still in committee. the chairman made an agreement
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with the republicans and basically said, let's take a report or to a vote on the bill and reported favorably to the floor? we will come back in september for the last 65 amendments. i did not vote for the bill because how you vote for a bill that is not done? how you favre believe this to the house if you are not done with your work? i was one of the few democrats that voted know. we came back on september 23rd and finished up the amendment. on october 29th, the combined couple bills, 3200 that became 3962. the vote was held on november 7th. the vote on the house floor was 220-215. i voted for the final bill in the house of representatives not without some controversy. here is my concern with the
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bill. before, when i was doing these power points the boxes were not checked because we came out of committee. here is where i thought the committee fell short. i said the quality -- i will go back and talk about that a little more. those were my four concerned when it came out of committee. those were all men in the house bill. the goals of health care improving quality, efficiency, controlling costs,
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affordability, accessibility, but shared investment, and work force. we have a health insurance that will change. you look at all the programs improved -- approved in the pick the option that is best for you and your family. what meets your individual needs? the government will not choose the policy for you. we have a marketplace for individuals and businesses to purchase their insurance. you have access to, within five years, must have an essential benefits package. minimum coverage. that and be the essential benefits package. you have the basic plan, enhanced, premium, and a premium plus plan. the basic, low premiums and high deductible just like we see now.
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premium plus, higher premium, lower deductible. what is the health care reform bill do to protect consumers? we spent four years working on this. it prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against preexisting conditions. you prohibit insurance companies from rescinding policies except in the case of fraud. -- per your application to kick you off. the only way they can do it is intentional fraud. we take away the lifetime caps on benefits. most policies are limited to about $500,000. you think that is planning. after a serious accident or illness, it is not. you limit the out of pocket
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expenses. in the house bill is $4,000.8000 dollars. -- $4,000 and $8,000. all these prisons take effect immediately. if the house and senate come to an agreement and they pass the bill tomorrow, all of these provisions start immediately. plus two more provisions. immediate help for the uninsured. in the house bill, provisions do not start until january 2013. we have a temporary insurance program for those who are uninsured you have been sick or do not have a policy. we are here at michigan tech. if you have a policy with a son
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or daughter going to college, they are on your policy until 22. we say we leave them on until they're 27 over the day. -- until they're 27 birthday. bringing new doctors into the health-care system, you are a new professional and restart that before 2013. again, that is only if the bill passes. the house is a public option and the senate does not. it is a government sponsored nonprofit health-care plan. what does that do? it is basically medicare. how do you pay for medicare? everyone of us under 65, there is a payroll deduction for fica. if you are 65, parts d medicare is a monthly premium. when we do the public option, how you pay?
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payroll taxes in your monthly premium which is similar to medicare. it is not funded by the government. whether it exists is a whether or not people participate. it has to be self funded, have the same financial is solvent and environment, and will only exist as long as americans want it. if you do not wanted, do not use it. no one will force you. benefits for the first district, 50,000 uninsured in this congressional district at about 660,000. 17 dozen 900 small-business is will be eligible for tax credits. -- 17,900 small businesses. it has a prescription drug benefit plan. i thought it was a giveaway to
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the pharmaceutical industries. basically, they pay their premium and once you hit $2,500 you fall into the doughnut hole. you're still paying the premium, but when to hit $2,500 it all comes out of your pocket. what to him about $5,800 you come out of the doughnut hole and get picked up again. most seniors to hit the doughnut hole go back in about november or december. you have three-four months where you have no coverage, no benefits and are still paying a premium. it was done to keep the costs of premiums affordable so they drop to that of the system for a while even though you continued to pay for your premiums. we're going to close the doughnut hole. we have almost 12,000 seniors in that situation in my district. 1100 families to avoid bankruptcy.
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ask any medical doctor and they get in uncompensated care? it is $185 million in uncompensated care that we lose every year. myth versus fact. i think i can debunk most of them. there is no death panel. even aarp says the crew of distortion, this nonsense, there is no death panel. illegal immigrants will not be covered. this is the exact language. no federal payments for undocumented aliens. here is the section. section 1786 of its medicaid and children's health program for illegal immigrants. the manager's amendment
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includes for the protections and the verification of citizenship or those lawfully here in this country. there are three ways we address it in the bill. ever and says, you're going to force me into a government sponsored health-care plan. it is your choice to decide what you want. if there's one thing and the with you, health public republic health insurance -- public health insurance, you choose. i will not choose for you. no federal employee chooses it for you. you choose what is best for you. choose between private and public option. it will be another option yes. if you do not want a government sponsored -- according to the senate is 60%. i could sum up it is about 40% to 44%. department of defense, indian
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health care, at children's health initiative, these are all government sponsored health care, the va, tricare. that's what it is. it is not a big, mysterious plan that is going to swallow us all a whole. how are members of congress affected? one senator said we should not be a part of this plan. we are treated just like everyone else. we are not offered a separate cadillac plan. if you work for a fourth service, you have the same opportunity as a federal employee that i do as a member of congress. -- if you work for the forest servers. there's no special plan. there are 4600 federal workers in northern michigan that have the same options i do. will i go to jail if i do not have health insurance? no. everyone has to have health
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insurance whether it is through your employer are going through the exchange. if you do not take insurance, we're going to take a 2.5% of your paycheck to health -- to help pay for health care. the system is still there regardless. even if your 23-years old but you expected to be there when you get in an accident, we expect to doctors to be there, you have to pay. because it is tied into the irs and payroll, in rare circumstances when you from the irs you could get jail time. no one will go to jail for not having health insurance. you long coated jail if you do not have health insurance. you're going to be to 5% but you will not go to jail. -- you are going to pay 2.5%.
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we're not going to take money from the federal treasury, your tax dollars to create an insurance companies or put money into insurance. this is just like medicare. payroll taxes and a monthly premium. in the house bill, we have a surcharge called the millionaire tax. tax. tutored 70 household -- you do the individual of that household makes more than 500,000, or the family makes more than $1 million, there is a surcharge. 9% of you will not -- will never have to worry it -- 9.9% of you will not have to worry got that. long-term savings and changing
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how we pay for of care, let me explain that because it explains the inefficiencies and how you can come up with about $500 billion in savings in medicare over 10 years. what happens to medicare? all the seniors say you are cutting my medicare. we are not cutting medicare. you still go to see your same doctor, the same hospital. the only differences are that we eliminate the copays and deductibles for preventive care. prostate, bone density, mammograms, we want you to get them and we want to xay for it. if you have prostate cancer, there is a 95 per and that -- 95% cure rate if we catch it early. if we cure it early, we save money in the long run. if you are healthy, taxpayers save money in the long run. we extend the solvency by five years in the medicare trust fund. as in as the president signed the bill, it is the house version, $500 starts at $3,000
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as opposed to $2,500. medicare, one reason i did not vote for the bill -- the largest consumer purchaser of drugs in a country is the federal government for medicare and medicaid, the department of defense, the v.a.. but we cannot use our purchasing power to get a better deal on drugs. the few years that, you can probably lower the cost. here's what i mean about changing the inefficiencies out of medicare. in early spring, a group of us came together. we said that the traditional way we pay for health care is every time you get a test, there is a
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bill, every time we see a doctor, there is a bill. built into those bills are all kinds of administrative costs. what we found in our work on the committee that if you are in miami, fla., the average payment for the medicare reimbursement in miami florida -- in miami, florida is $16 and dollars. is health care that much better in miami and that it is worth $16,000 versus the $1,600 here in marquette? you get better, you get treated, there is the quality outcome not how many doctors you see, how many tests that are run. we want to move away from quantity and go to quality. does it make a difference how many times to poke me if i'm treated for diabetes? the end result is, and live better? it is equality based outcome. it will take us three years to
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do this. reimbursement will be based on quality not quantity. here's a quick nap. total medicare reimbursement. medicare payments in 1965. here is a graphic between the differences. the upper midwest, minn., the light green were the lowest costs. the orange and yellow were the highest costs. these mistakes that got us the most in trying to change the system. this is a drastic change for the way we reimburse health care in this country. here is the graph. here's what you average. if you are on medicare, what is paid out per year on average a nationwide is the green line. $8,300. the lowest is honolulu, hawaii. the highest is miami, florida
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with $16 and dollars treated 51 -- $16,351. [no audio] >> sorry about that. my district alone, the first congressional district, in marquette, $6,100. here's the national average. in saginaw, they get reimbursed
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almost $8,600. detroit is $10,000. why the difference? is health care getting better in saginaw verses marquette? i do not think so. these are inefficiencies built into the system over 40 years that we need to address. address the quality not the quantity. house of businesses be impacted? if you have less than 25 employees, how do you figure what you have to pay if your number of employees and the average wage of the employers. it allows you to pay back through the exchange from health private or public. it depends on the number of your employees. i'm not talking about -- i'm
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talking but the payroll tax. i cannot afford health insurance. if my payroll is a $585,000 and i'm not writing my employees with health insurance, i would have to pay for% payroll tax -- 4% tax. 2, 4, 6, 8. the payroll is more than seven in the $50,000 per year, the most would pay is 8%. -- if my payroll is more than $750,000. proceeds from the tax code to offset the affordability credit. most businesses that choose to offer insurance will see tax credits to offset the cost of insurance.
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veterans say they like their system and do not want a change. i want to keep my try care. -- tricare. try care stays the same. if i am a veteran and one to go into another plan, i can do so. you are not forced. ok the abortion amendment. i'm going to explain this. i have always been pro-life. we have been able to work out issues. there was no room to maneuver and no one was really willing to negotiate past a certain point. here is what happened. july 30th-31st, i warned my colleagues do not even bring
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abortion up. let's do health care. let's focus on health care. leave abortion alone. it is it is -- it is a decisive issue. keep the current policy. there was an amendment offered that said this. the capps amendment -- is a recognized benefit under the health-care bill. it is in the public option, you have to pay $1 per month into a fund for reproductive i -- reproductive rights that included abortion language. at least one plan must have abortion coverage. you can use your federal subsidies, tax credits, what ever, to pay for abortions. that is completely against current law.
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current language as we do not use public funding to pay for abortion or for insurance policies that provide abortions. that is the current law. capps passed by one or two votes. i polled my amendment out of the pocket which says, go back to the original law, no public funding for the abortion, no federal subsidies for abortion in the health-care bill. it passed 31-27. german waxman switched his vote. -- chairman waxman. they got all the democrats there and we had a real vote. we lost 30-29. that is how the issue got into health care. we did not wish to make it an issue. that is what happened. we had the bill with the abortion language i objected to and many members of the house
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objected to. we wanted the speaker to give us an up or down vote. if they did not give this a vote in the health-care bill we would not support the bill coming to the floor. i have had a rule to bring a bill to the floor with 218 votes. my mother-in-law died and i flew back on november 6th to. -- 6th. i went to the pro-choice caucus and explained the agreement. everyone shook hands and we all agreed. the speaker called me and said the deal is off. perchers caucus says we will this -- we will be the amendment. i testified at rules committee at 1:00 a.m. the next morning, saturday morning, my amendment was in order. it went to the house floor.
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perron was calling press conferences. we passed 240-194. it was bipartisan. 64 democrats voted for it. all 64 also voted for the health-care bill. the only built it -- the only reason the bill passed was because my amendment. the public health care option would not be allowed to cover abortion and the federal affordability credit does not cover that. it does not take away your right to choose. it only says that the government is not going to pay for abortions but we have not paid for them in the last 33 years. the usual perceptions for rape, incest stand. women in business as if you want to buy a separate plan, severed covered you just cannot use the tax credit and federal subsidies.
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christmas eve, the senate bill passes. the next step is the conference committee. as you have been hearing, it will probably be pingpong. they'll bring back to the house floor. when it comes back for a vote, you're not allowed to change it, amendment, or alter it. you get one vote, yes or no. they say they are trying to for the end of january. we will see. most of the members i have talked to, about 20 members since the christmassy vote, -- the christmas eve vote, some pro-choice and some pro-life, they said they will not vote for the senate bill matter what it is. senator reid keeps saying that is the best he can do. here's the difference between -- here are the differences.
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this is why we have such strong feelings. when you difference from when they take effect. we pull the don't hole in the senate does not. we have a public option and they do not. they create two plans greeted by the opm. we take away the antitrust exemption. if they want to raise their rates like they have on individual policies in michigan 20%-40%, there's nothing we can do about it. they can do what they want. it is limited regulation on the insurance industry. it will allow to create competition when they take the antitrust law away. we have the when million dollar surcharge.
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if you are an individual, they put a surtax on you. if you are a family and you are $23,000 or more, you get taxed. $23,000 or more, you get taxed. deficit, we will not the deficit, you're not adding to the deficit. we will reduce it. employer sponsored under the house bill, it will be government-run, private employer. they figure is about $4 million. the regional differences, about $61,000 in miami, $6,100 in market. we do not do anything with it. if it is a broken system, why do we keep a b

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